We're here at ASUS's press conference in Barcelona, where the company has just unveiled two new Android products: the Padfone Infinity and Fonepad.
The Padfone Infinity is the follow-up to the Padfone 2, released late in 2012, which was the successor to the original Padfone that debuted at MWC last year. The Fonepad is a tablet that also works as a phone. Right (if you actually want to know more about those things, see this post).
At an afternoon press conference across the street from MWC 2013's enormous venue, ASUS has just wrapped a (hilarious) press conference that saw the introduction of two new devices (or three?) – the Padfone Infinity and the Fonepad. Before we dive in for hands-on, let's take a quick look at the specs and pricing for the devices.
Jonney Shih with the Padfone Infinity
The Padfone Infinity is the tablet/phone combination we were expecting from ASUS today.
After months of speculation, pre-orders, and cameo appearances, it's finally here (kind of) – one of the precious few official Nexus accessories users have ever been able to purchase: the Nexus 7 Dock. After snapping one up when they appeared at B&H, I was one of the unlucky handful to receive a "we regret to inform you" email, noting that the dock was not, in fact, available yet.
Stop holding your Nexus 7 in your hands like a chump and check this out. These industrious modders have built and installed complete Nexus 7 mounting systems in a Subaru STi and Toyota Celica. The Toyota owner even created a launcher skin to go with the mod. The skin, of course, is based on Knight Rider (seen below).
The modder with the Toyota used Nova Launcher, UCCW, and Simple Text to build a simple Knight Rider UI that gives access to the most commonly used functions.
Less than a month after its last firmware update (to build 10.4.9.6), ASUS' Padfone 2 is getting another incremental bump. The Padfone 2, which we know as the turducken of the mobile world, already got Jelly Bean 4.1.1 in December, so updates hence have naturally focused on the usual performance, stability, and other enhancements. Today's update to build 10.4.11.13 brings, among other things, new camera firmware, improved navigation, and a handful of optimizations.
Can we get a show of hands as to who's interested in the upcoming ASUS MeMO Pad? Great. This post is for you. Bulgarian site tablet.bg has gotten its hands on this understated Android tablet and taken the liberty of giving it a full review. The conclusion? It's still pretty meh. But you know, it's meant to be a budget device, and will compete wonderfully with Acer's new B1 tablet.
It's that time again, Transformer Pad Infinity owners! The latest incremental update to Android 4.1 is out and ready to flash for US, Japan, China, and Taiwan models, and the international version to boot. You can check your Settings menu for the over-the-air download, or head over to the ASUS download page if you're not seeing it immediately.
So what's new? A few bugs for the camera, Mio map, and movie studio app are fixed, and compatibility with newer MicroSD cards is enhanced.
If you've been eyeing the HSPA+ version of Google's Nexus 7, AT&T is now offering you a little incentive. If you buy a Nexus 7 with 3G and agree to a 2-year data plan contract, AT&T will give you a $100 bill credit. It's not the best deal in mobile, but if you're planning to stick with AT&T for a while it's free money. What? You're going to turn your nose up at free?
ASUS, in a bid to sell to "several emerging markets," has just announced the MeMO Pad – a seven-inch tablet sporting ASUS' nearly-stock Android 4.1 Jelly Bean experience, a 1GHz VIA CPU (with Mali-400 GPU), a 1024x600 display, 1GB RAM, and up to 16GB internal storage with a refreshing microSD slot available for expansion.
Just like the Nexus 7, the MeMO pad just offers a front-facing camera, though it's a 1MP shooter with a back-illuminated sensor.
Okay, so the Google TV world has been a little stagnant lately. Alright, a lot stagnant. But! This is CES! There are plenty of new devices and gadgets and stuff to play with. While LG is on the other side of the show floor showing of its Google TVs (that is, TVs running Google TV), ASUS would like to introduce you to its Google TV box (that is, a box that runs Google TV that plugs into a TV...TV TV TV Google Google TV Google).